PBA Fastbreak: San Mig Coffee still hot in Comms Cup debut
The Best: Before the start of the conference, several PBA observers described Brian Butch as a Dirk Nowitzki-type of big man who could also stroke from deep. We didn’t see that in Meralco’s opening loss to the San Miguel Beermen, but this time Butch was sharp. The former Team USA player nailed 6 triples on his way to 27 points, leading the Bolts to their maiden win in the Commish Cup. He also dominated on the boards, hauling down 17 rebounds, getting 2 steals, and blocking 2 shots. If Butch, who was a candidate for Gilas’s naturalized player along with Marcus Douthit, can remain consistent with his sniping, then the Bolts might just make a lot of noise this conference.
The Worst: The see-saw play of the Alaska Aces continued last night, what with usual reliables Gabby Espinas, Calvin Abueva and Dondon Hontiveros putting up barf-worthy numbers. Those three combined for just 5 points in a total of 56 minutes, which, honestly, just won’t cut it. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Aces also had much fewer assists, more turnovers, hit just 64% from the line, and just 26% from beyond the arc. Defending champs? Sadly, more like chumps.
Local Flavor: Unlike Meralco’s first outing, the Bolts’ local talents shone through despite both Jared Dillinger and Mike Cortez being in sick bay. Reynel Hugnatan, Gary David and Cliff Hodge combined for 38 points total, while also collaring 20 rebounds in all. They more than made up for the the absence of Dillinger and Cortez and the lousy 0/5 shooting of John Wilson.
The Best: Ian Sangalang probably won’t win Rookie of the Year, not with Greg Slaughter playing well and hogging the headlines, but the former Golden Stag has already won the hearts of San Mig Coffee Planet. In this game, he dropped another impressive stat-line, scoring 7/9 from the floor to finish with 16 points and 5 rebounds. He more than made up for the fact that Joe Devance tossed some bricks, shooting just 1/6 from the field to score a grand total of… 4 points.
The Worst: GlobalPort turned the ball over 22 times, they missed 12 of 33 free throws, and they attempted 17 three-pointers, missing, well, 17 three-pointers. Silver lining? I don’t see any. Do you?
Balanced Attack: Six guys in double-figures and shooting 43% from rainbow country — that’s what Tim Cone saw from his wards in this game. Aside from Sangalang, five other Mixers — James Yap, PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, Marc Pingris and import James Mays — all scored at least 10 points as SMC won its debut match of the conference. With that kind of balance, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the Mixers go deep once again and vie for an unconventional grand slam. - Rappler.com